Japan's largest oil explorer INPEX Corp. announced on Monday that it has acquired a fivepercent stake in an oil concession in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The acquisition is based on a 40year contract with the Supreme Petroleum Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) starting from January this year, the Tokyobased company said in a press release.
"This new acquisition in Abu Dhabi, positioned as one of the core areas for INPEX's petroleum development and production operations, is highly significant in terms of the company's growth strategies, and also largely contributes to the longterm, stable supply of energy to Japan," INPEX President and CEO Toshiaki Kitamura said.
"Our acquisition of a participating interest in the oilproducing concession is likely the result of the value placed in our track record in oil development and production operations and technological contributions in Abu Dhabi over many years," Kitamura said.
The value of the stake was not revealed, but Japanese public broadcaster NHK said earlier it is worth USD 1.1 billion and INPEX will secure 80,000 bpd. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a statement that the deal will greatly contribute to securing a stable supply of crude oil to Japan. "It is a result of resource Diplomacy," Abe added.
The onshore bloc in Abu Dhabi is made up of 15 oil fields with current total daily production of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd), INPEX said, adding that it plans to increase the output to 1.8 million bpd by 2017.
Some 11 international firms are participating in the bidding for the 15 onshore oilfields. Among them, French oil major, Total, has already obtained a 10percent stake. Japan relies on selfdeveloped oilfields for 20 percent of its crude imports, or 700,000 bpd.
It is the first time that a Japanese firm is acquiring a stake in overseas oilfields since another firm gained oil rights in Iraq in 2009. Analysts said Japanese government officials have made allout efforts to own another stake in overseas oilfields, according to NHK. The UAE is the secondbiggest crude oil supplier for Japan after Saudi Arabia. INPEX, which has engaged in business operations in Abu Dhabi for over 40 years, is a worldwide oil and gas exploration and production company with more than 70 active projects across 25 countries including the Middle East.